The Central Analytical Laboratory, directed by NRRI senior scientist Richard Axler, provides analytical laboratory and field research support services to NRRI scientists, other University scientists, local, state, and federal agencies, and to private businesses and commercial laboratories. The lab is certified for a variety of Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act water quality parameters by the Minnesota Department of Health.
The Central Analytical Lab maintains over 1600 sq. ft. of wet lab space, including a Lachat autoanalyzer for nutrients, turbidimeters, spectrophotometers, microscopes and other basic water quality instrumentation in addition to limnological field equipment. The lab is certified for a wide variety of physical, chemical, and biological measurements (including rigorous quality assurance/quality control standards) by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Acid Precipitation Mitigation Program, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Regional Environmental Monitoring program (for sediment and water quality in areas of concern and Superfund sites), by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Acid-Sensitive Lakes Program, by the Minnesota Department of Health.
The lab’s procedures have also been central to the Quality Assurance Project Plan/Program for four major EPA funded studies:
NRRI’s Central Analytical Lab is particularly proficient in the analysis of low-level nutrients commonly encountered in oligotrophic lakes and streams in the Upper Great Lakes region including ultra-oligotrophic Lake Superior as well as pristine and often poorly buffered inland lakes of the Canadian Shield. The lab has been in operation since 1987 and has performed chemical analyses for numerous projects for Minnesota state agencies, including the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, as well as tribal environmental programs, and county and other local agencies. The lab also offers analytical support for a wide variety of University research projects and has assisted other university and private labs in setting up to measure low level nutrients and chlorophyll.